The Faith Cycle

It has been 9 months since I lost my Rebekah.  Nine horrible months.  The journey of brokenness, pain, doubt, anger, anxiety, and confusion has been the worst experience of my life.  I almost feel the need to shout to the world that if I can survive this, then I can survive anything.

The most awful part is that it is not an isolated incident.  I cannot say that my daughter is gone, grieve, and be done.  It is not something I can separate from myself.  I am wrapped up in it and it reaches to every part of my life including my future.

I guess I just want to share this with you all.  It is not something I would have understood if I was not living through it.

Another surprise to me was the way grief cycles.  I don’t know if everyone is like this, but I am never two days the same, sometimes not even two hours the same.  My weeks are full of ups and downs, good days, nothing days, bad days, and horrible days.  I used to fight it, thinking I had to act, think, and feel a certain way.  As if there was some kind of pattern to grief.  Maybe a schedule I need to adhere to.

I have learned to simply “go with it”.  When I’m sad, I allow myself to be sad.  When the sun is shining and the kids and I are having fun then I accept it and enjoy it.  My dark days sometimes scare me.  I can usually feel them coming.  I imagine people who struggle with depression experience the same “sinking down” feelings.  Another emotion I would not understand had I not experienced it myself.

As I was pondering my grief cycle and once again wondering if I am anywhere in the realm of “normal”, it occurred to me that we all have cycles.  Just as nature cycles so does our life situations and feelings.

Eight years ago I had a 1 year old and a 3 year old.  I have fond memories of Caleb and Rebekah in those early days.  We would sit on the floor and build block towers, read brightly illustrated story books for as long as Rebekah would stay still, and eat snacks on the back deck.  I’d grocery shop with my two blond haired cuties and chat about everything we saw.  As time went on and they grew older we developed different relationships-ones I cherish just as much as ever.  More children have been added to the family (and more to do!) but I once again have a 1 year old and a 3 year old.  And you know what?  I absolutely love it!

I feel as if God has allowed me to cycle through those days a second time.

Maybe cycles are good.  We grow in the sunlight of happy days, we rest in the cold of winter, and we gain strength when we pas through the dark days.

Maybe faith must experience cycles in order to be true faith.  Can we believe just as much during the hard times as we do during the good?

Life is hard.  Walking with fear, pain, or heartache as our companions is not what we would choose if given the choice.  I look back now and roll my eyes at my past self.  I was always the positive, glass half full type.  My husband would accuse me of living in my own little world.  Why wouldn’t I?  My little world was happy.

When the storm destroyed my world, I was lost.  Everything I thought I believed in was lost.  My faith was shattered, my hope in the future was shattered, but worst of all I was dead.  My glass half-full was now empty and I didn’t know who I was.

The good thing about cycles is that they don’t stop; they keep moving.  My cycle is moving forward.  I am changed in that I will always have a hole in my heart and my family will always be broken, but I have changed in ways that are positive too.

I could not grow any more in my happy world.  It was time for me to break out of it and witness the pain of others.  It was time that I learned true compassion.

My faith needed to be tested in order to grow.  It was no longer enough to simply believe.  Learning who God is in the face of adversity is not something that can be taught from the comfort of my favorite recliner.  I had to choose to believe when everything inside me screamed in anger at the deity I loved.

I chose to believe when God took the one thing in life that I loved more than myself and He poured His peace and strength on me in abundance.

Dear friends, although this post is written with tears, I do wish to encourage you.  If you are experiencing a darkness in your life, allow Him to lead you through it and rest in Him until your cycle moves forward.  I promise you, He is faithful.

P.S.  I don’t think that daisy picture is relevant to this subject, but daisies are my favorite flower and I want to share it 😉

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Faith Cycle”

  1. Your post was written in tears and read in tears as well. The picture of Rebekah above is how I most remember her when I would visit you at your house. Prayers and hugs to you and your beautiful family.

  2. Hi Heather, this is Monica’s daughter Zoe (Clare’s sister). I just wanted you to know that I found your blog recently and I have been praying for you and your family a lot over the past year. I can still remember babysitting for your family a long time ago. I cannot begin to understand what you and your family have endured but I know what it is like to have a daughter that you love with your entire heart. Just know that I am continuing to think of you and Rebekah often.

    1. It is great to hear from you Zoe, and thank you for your thoughts and prayers! Some days I am convinced that we are being carried on prayers. I’m sure your little girl is getting big. I saw you guys about a year ago and I still remember how cute she is! Hugs to your whole family.

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Hi, I am Heather! I am a mom of five, homeschooler, homesteader, and lover of all things chocolate. I am excited to share your faith and parenting journeys with you. Whether you are here looking to grow your faith, heal from loss, find homeschool resources, or hope to find inspiration in raising godly children, you are in the right place. So, grab your favorite hot beverage, curl up in your comfy chair, and stay awhile.

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